Neutralising knowledge: how journalists deal with experts

Liriam Sponholz

Journalists are a favored target for influencing political and economic events in society. They are the targets not only of parties and politicians, but also of think tanks and their experts. How prepared are journalists to react both critically and productively to such initiatives? A qualitative survey of reporters from local and national newspapers shows how experts on disputed topics are selected, which information journalists expect from these informants and how journalists view these sources. The results demonstrate that the surveyed journalists routinely select the same experts and do not cross-examine the information gathered.

think tanks; experts; knowledge; journalism

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